AR-News: COK letter in the Washington Post

Miyun Park mpark at
Fri Jun 25 09:23:27 EDT 2004

Letters can be addressed to letters at


The Washington Post
Friday, June 25, 2004; Page A28

Myths at Kids' Farm

On June 12 the National Zoo opened a new exhibit, "Kids' Farm" [KidsPost,
June 21]. With the help of a $5 million congressional appropriation, the
exhibit targets children 3 to 8 years old. According to assistant curator
Bob King, the exhibit lets kids "identify where some of their food comes

The zoo exhibit, however, presents a fairy tale picture of what conditions
on commercial farms in the United States are like.

Myth: All of the chickens at Kids' Farm are given outdoor access, branches
for perching and nesting boxes.

Reality: Ninety-eight percent of chickens in the U.S. egg industry live in
overcrowded, barren wire cages.

Myth: A sign outside the chicken exhibit reads, "The farmer collects the
eggs every day, either for food or for raising more chicks."

Reality: Eggs from 98 percent of laying hens in the United States are
produced on automated farms and are never touched by a human hand until a
consumer takes them out of the carton.

Myth: The chicken exhibit stresses the importance of dust baths for

Reality: Ninety-eight percent of egg-laying chickens in the United States
have no ability to dust bathe, let alone flap their wings, forage, perch or
even walk.

Myth: The ducks at Kids' Farm live outdoors during the day and have access
to a pond. The sign outside the exhibit says that "ducks need water to keep
their bills clean."

Reality: Most commercial duck farms in the United States raise ducks in
sheds or solitary cages. The birds do not have any access to bodies of

Myth: The two cows at Kids' Farm live in a green pasture and are brushed

Reality: Ninety-nine percent of cattle raised for beef in the United States
spend months being fattened in overcrowded feedlots. In addition, they are
routinely castrated and branded without painkillers.

The National Zoo should let the public know where our food really comes from
by developing an honest exhibit.

Campaigns Director
Compassion Over Killing

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

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